Hot on the Trail
A family outing on the Delaware Geocaching Trail proves quite an adventure.
(page 2 of 6)
Easy Like Sunday Morning
My bright, nature-loving, 13-year-old daughter, Audrey, is eager to get started. She plops down on the couch and fires up the laptop. We go to the Delaware Tourism Office’s Web site (visitdelaware.com) and click on the Delaware Geocaching Trail button.
In just a few minutes, we create an account, pick a site, snag a handful of cache coordinates and we’re ready to punch them into our trusty GPS. I say “we,” but it’s my tech-savvy daughter who makes this a quick endeavor.
Audrey grabs our trusty Garmin Nuvi—the very GPS that during long trips, in a loud, female voice, barks orders at me from its suction-cup perch on the minivan windshield. When we first got it, I thought, Swell, that’s all I need: two women in the front seat telling me what to do.
Some gung-ho geocachers carry fancy-looking Magellan units that are geared specifically toward this growing sport. Not us. We’re stuck with the nerdy Garmin Nuvi.
Time to punch the coordinates into the GPS. “Which caches do you want to do?” I ask.
“Just do the ones close to the road,” says Audrey, scouring the map of cache sites and already looking for shortcuts. In about 10 minutes, the coordinates for seven cache sites—the locations where the “treasures” are hidden—are locked and loaded.
I scribble a couple of tips from the online map onto a yellow legal pad and we quickly review geocaching rules. The cache box—a sturdy, metal ammo box—contains a logbook and trinkets left by other geocachers. The rules say that if you take a trinket, you must leave one of equal value.
“You mean like a rock?” asks Audrey.
“No,” I explain. “Like a little Yoda figurine or something.”
“No, something cool,” she says, “like a rock.”
Jake, my energetic but easily bored 10-year-old son, seems excited by the trinkets.
“I’m going to go check my junk drawer,” he says. “There’s cool stuff in there.”
Soon the boy’s back with three plastic mini-Power Rangers, a green camel, a rubber soccer ball, a reindeer bell on a red ribbon and a tiny Humpty Dumpty figurine. Audrey adds a small gator bobblehead, two frog bobbleheads and a toy whale to our Ziplock bag of “swag.”
We agree that there’s some pretty cool items here.
“So you can’t leave a rock,” says Audrey. “Put that in your story.”
continued on page 3...